| Investing

Whether you’re a single mom struggling to manage everything on your own, married and raising kids with a barely present partner, or a new mom getting used to the idea your career might not come first, chances are you’re feeling the pressures of superwoman syndrome. 

We’re right there with you! And as the pressures of inflation push even the healthiest incomes beyond their limits, working moms are feeling the stress more than ever. So, what’s a girl to do?

Do you craft your own side hustle? Take on the drudgery of moonlighting? Sacrifice Friday night cocktails with friends, dinners out, and winter getaways? Or maybe it’s time to consider real estate investing. 

Although you might think investment is far too hard to juggle with all the other balls you’ve got in the air, you’ve got this! Here’s how to juggle career, family and real estate investing without breaking too much of a sweat. 

Consider Your Goals & Risk Tolerance to Reduce Stress

Understanding your goals and risk tolerance go hand in hand when it comes to avoiding stress. Instead of scrounging to find time to contend with investment management, you’ll know what you want to achieve and find the quickest path to get there. 

Common goals include:

  • Building your wealth 
  • Generating passive income 
  • Diversifying your existing investment portfolio 
  • Achieving financial freedom (Woot! Woot!)
  • Finding a fulfilling side hustle (like running an Airbnb) 

However, you also need to understand your risk tolerance to tell you how much money (and composure) you can afford to lose. So, what’s your risk tolerance?

Looking for more advice for serious investors? Here are some related posts you will find helpful:

There are three types of risk personalities:   

  1. Aggressive: You’re a “look ma no hands” type of person who gets a rush from stress and can find solutions to financial issues like that. You’re a bit of a bad ass who’s fine jumping before you look without worrying about things like a crumbling foundation throwing a wrench in your flip plans. You’re all about risk if it means you’ll see a higher payoff AND you also have the money to pay the piper should bad luck come your way. 
  2. Conservative: You’re the proverbial tire-kicker, wear the kneepads when roller blading, buy the most travel insurance on vacation kind of gal who isn’t the least interested in awakening your inner daredevil. You’re just fine with earning steady, reliable returns even if they don’t come with “I’m a millionaire” bragging rights (at least not right away). You prefer spending a little more up front to enjoy peace of mind, thank you very much. 
  3. Moderate: You’re right in the middle. You aren’t drawn in to cheap thrills or desire for Barbara Corcoran-level success yet are okay with some risk as long as it doesn’t mean losing majorly. You’re not overly freaked out by making a quick decision to put an offer on a property that’s going fast, especially if there’s the opportunity to earn big without risk of losing your nest egg. 

Regardless of your personality type, it all boils down to the higher the risk, the higher the reward and the more “back-up” cash you’ll need on hand. 

Pick a Lane Investment Strategy Wise

Instead of stressing over strategy, consider the types of opportunities that feel right for you and the time you can spare. If you choose a real estate investment that’s not up your alley, then you’re: 

a) Not going to feel comfortable with decisions related to that investment and 

b) Not enjoy your venture into real estate investment as much. 

This contributes to sleepless nights, stress and not being present for the important things and people in your life.

Understand the Time Demands of Your Investment

That brings us to the types of opportunities that are out there. Here’s a look at each investment type and the amount of work each investment can add to your already bursting at the seams to-do list. 

The Undervalued Property

These are the hard-to-find opportunities investors dream of. They’re sold below market value and come with risk as they’re usually negatively impacted by something whether it’s poor condition, bad location, or something undesirable like a strange design. It’s essential to conduct thorough research to identify undervalued properties to measure their potential for long-term growth.

How to use them: 

  • Renovate and sell for a profit
  • Hold onto them and watch them increase in value over time
  • Repurpose the property such as transforming a house into three flats as rental income, tearing down a dilapidated small house on a larger property for the land, or even challenging the zoning

How they work:   

  • You can either carry the mortgage/pay cash with an eye on long-term growth or 
  • Invest in renovations or property improvements to increase their value 

Time invested:

  • High demand if you choose to renovate and sell for a profit 
  • Zero time when holding on to the property for long-term growth 

The Fixer-Upper

Fixer-uppers are often the worst house on the best street. You need to understand the market to find the sweet spot for your offer and the minimum renovation investment required to improve value to turn a profit. 

How to use them: 

  • Pay the right price, make the right renovations, and sell at a profit
  • Do the above but rent the property instead of selling to pay your mortgage and earn passive income 
  • Create a side hustle to transition into a new career/business

How they work: 

  • You can invest with a loan via a mortgage, put in time to renovate, and make a profit in as little as a few months when managed properly
  • You need a plan B to rent the property if it doesn’t sell  

Time invested: Super high demand if you don’t have assistance. 

What home improvement projects should you consider for your investment property? Here are some ideas: 

The Foreclosure

Foreclosed properties are the result of mortgage defaults and come onto the market in varied levels of disrepair. They’re lender sold which means they’re listed at a lower price but can also lead to some legal pains in the butt and delays. 

How to use them: 

  • Excellent flip opportunities
  • When in decent shape, great for rental properties whether it’s short or long-term

When they work:

  • You’re in no rush to see the investment transaction go through 
  • You’re looking for a flip opportunity
  • You’re okay with investing some money to bring the house up to par 

Time invested: Moderate to high demand depending on the property and what you do with it. 

The Commercial Property

Office buildings, retail spaces, and industrial complexes often require more of an investment because they tend to have potentially higher returns than residential properties. They also often come with higher risks as the commercial market has experienced some challenges since the pandemic. 

How to use them: 

  • Lease them to generate passive income
  • Leverage market conditions to sell for a profit

When they work:

  • You understand the commercial market and things like lease agreements (or have someone in your corner who can guide you on these decisions) 
  • You have the money to overcome the higher investment required up front 

Time invested: Moderate to high depending on how you use them. 

The Short-term Rental

The short-term rental market has had its ups and downs. It also continues to face potential challenges as the government cracks down on affordable housing issues. That said, in some cases you can generate higher rental income compared to a long-term rental if you find the right location and target market. 

How to use them:

  • Rent them to generate passive income to pay the mortgage
  • Leverage market conditions to sell for a profit
  • Create a side hustle

When they work:

  • You can manage cleaning demands and being on call for an endless parade of high maintenance tenants
  • You’re okay with all the rules surrounding short term rentals 
  • You feel comfortable being the hostess with the mostest on top of all the other things on your to-do list. 

Time invested: Super high without a property manager. 

The Long-term Rental

This tends to be the sweet spot for real estate investment if you have a low-maintenance property, in a fantastic location. It’s no secret that rents are sky-high, which means rent will likely pay your mortgage, generate leftovers to contend with maintenance and maybe even provide profits. 

How to use them:

  • Use your rent income to pay the mortgage
  • Generate passive income once the mortgage is paid 
  • Leverage market conditions to sell for a profit
  • Increase rent based on what the market can bear when you have new tenants

When they work:

  • You can deal with the demands of high-maintenance tenants or afford to pay a property manager
  • You feel comfortable being a landlord
  • You want to earn passive income over the long term
  • You can manage the mortgage when there’s gaps between tenants

Time invested: Moderate to high depending on the tenant, vacancy rate, and type of property. 


With the demand for housing, in hand with the amenities to support those households, you can find yourself sitting on a pretty lucrative nest egg by investing in land.

How to use it:

  • Hold onto the property and watch it increase in value over time
  • Leverage market conditions to sell for a profit

When they work:

  • You want a long-term investment and have moderate to aggressive risk tolerance 
  • You can carry the mortgage until you decide to sell 
  • You’re okay with unusual risks including the government deciding to expropriate your land, i.e., 407 expansions 
  • You understand how the location impacts potential ROI 
  • You have the patience to hold on until development in the area is in higher demand 

Time invested: Zero to low. 

House Hacking

Investing in rental properties is one of the simplest ways to earn income and drive returns to fund future investments. But you can’t get started without a down payment. The “house hacking” strategy rents out space in your primary home to either help pay off your primary mortgage and grow wealth or save for your first investment property down payment. 

How to use them:

  • Rent out a room in your home (like having roomies)
  • Repurpose a level of your home such as the basement or attic as a rental suite (can be long or short-term)

When they work:

  • You want to accelerate savings and get into the market faster 
  • You have home equity to renovate your basement into a suite
  • You purchase a primary home with an existing suite 
  • You can come to terms with having roomies or tenants for as long as it takes 

Time invested: Moderate to high depending on the route you take. 

Real Estate Investor Top Self-Preservation Tips 

Use our self-preservation tips to help ease into the realm of real estate investment:  

  • Arm yourself with knowledge through workshops, seminars, and educational events so you help inform your own decisions and can sidestep the mansplaining.
  • Find a mentor in a fellow female investor who can show you the ropes with honest insights based on personal experience. 
  • Work with like-minded individuals (like us!) who understand the specific challenges you face to overcome common roadblocks.  
  • Trust your instincts in the decision-making process.
  • Don’t sacrifice self-care — health and wellness keep you focused so you make smarter decisions! 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and keep asking questions until you’re satisfied with the answers. 

Speak to a Real Estate Team

A savvy real estate team is the free resource you need to learn more about the whole investment thing. We help you navigate the world of real estate investment and layout a strategy that works for you. It’s also the best way to understand whether real estate investment is something you should or can consider based on your financial situation and time demands. 

With a knowledgeable real estate team in your corner, you have access to ongoing advice to meet your wealth growth goals. You won’t feel alone and gain confidence with a partner who wants to see you killing it. 

Call The Christine Cowern Team at 416.291.7372 or email us at hello@christinecowern.com with any questions or to set up a call. We’d love to work with you!